First things first:
Jashan wrote: Oh, and to DBoozer, whom I've never met before: hi!
I felt Guitarplayer, Jashan and WeepingElf all brought up extremely important points and their constructive criticism is very much appreciated. Since some of the points went well together, I've addressed several of them together:
Guitarplayer wrote: I'm not interested in meeting the President of the Language Creation Society and his Vice President, or whatever. Instead, meeting David and Henrik as persons who happen to share part of my interests, and not as tokens/representatives/officials/whatever, is much nicer a prospect.
I couldn't agree more, and I apologize if I've contributed in any way to your feeling. I can only speak for myself; but David, for example, is definitely not hung up on titles or anything like that. I've found him to be one of the most friendly and easy-going people I've ever met. I haven't met Henrik, but from all I know of him and what people have said, I would imagine him to be the same way. You have every reason to expect the scenario of your much nicer prospect. One of the reasons I'm disappointed I can't attend LCC4 in Europe is that I'd very much like to meet you. I still count your original Ayeri primer as a major influence on me and was honored you allowed me to include you in my conlang exhibit (and even supplied your photo of yourself).
Guitarplayer wrote: Also, as was mentioned, I am sure that part of the animosities people here have comes not necessarily from the construct "LCS" itself, but also from the "strange vibe" Sai has given off at times, as Zompist called it. Indeed, I've sometimes got the impression that the LCS was basically an ego trip of Sai's. In and of itself, I don't think it's a bad thing to have a hobby club dedicated to language creation and its ilk – hobby clubs are deeply rooted in German culture – but this whole lobbyism and officialism thing I don't understand, really. I'm active in 3 clubs myself (my church, my guitar ensemble, and the youth organisation my youth group belongs to), and nowhere have I met this officialist attitude although there are first chairmen, treasurers, and such.
One of the primary reasons LCS was originally created as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization was to facilitate the planning and running of the LCC. For example, sometimes only legal entities (like 501(c)3's) are allowed to rent facilities, claim tax-exempt status, etc. One of the unfortunate side effects of having to be created this way is that there are then some legal ramifications such as the official requirement to have directors, officers, meeting minutes, etc. I would urge everyone to think of someone identifying themselves as a director or officer of the LCS to see this as simply fulfilling a role within the legally-required confines of the organization. Of course, in light of some of the insightful comments provided on this thread, I would strongly urge those same officers (including me) to think about how they are using said "titles." If it's not relevant to the conversation, maybe just leave it out?
Guitarplayer wrote: Anyway, the whole politicization that seems to be going on here (and indeed enforced by certain people) really starts to get on my nerves. I was looking forward to attending LCC4 as a way to meet some of you people (not some of you officials), since language creators as organized (again, with a small "o") in the various fora are rather disparate, especially here in Europe, so international meetings don't happen too often, and now this I'll still attend because tickets are already booked, but meh. I hope very much that the upcoming LCC will not be a major LCS recruiting fest.
WeepingElf wrote: I can do without all that politicization. That's what auxlangers do all the time, and I have always thought that we artlangers could do differently. I considered not only attending LCC4 but even giving a talk about degrees of volition in Old Albic after David Peterson invited me to give a talk in a personal e-mail, but I since then had decided to abstain from it. I feel that it would be too much of a nerdfest to be enjoyable to me, and, as Guitarplayer fears, an LCS recruiting event. Looking at the proceedings of past LCCs, I got the impression that those conferences are mostly about computational aspects of engelanging, which is not what interests me. I could hardly care less about parsing algorithms, self-segregating morphologies, sets of semantic primes for oligosynthetic languages, and all that stuff. I feel that a language such as Old Albic would not be received with much warmth.
Again, I also say "Amen", agree wholeheartedly, and apologize for any contribution I've made to your feeling this way. To hopefully begin to put your minds at ease, LCC2 (that I attended in-person) was definitely not an "LCS recruiting fest" in any way and from what I've seen and heard from those attending the other LCC's it was the same. I found the LCC to be an informal, educational, energetic environment where everyone I interacted with was friendly, interesting, and happy to be there. It was a great experience all around. In fact, I'm quite disappointed I wasn't able to attend LCC3 last year and even more disappointed I can't afford to attend this year and meet those attendees from Europe.
WeepingElf: I'd encourage you to reconsider a presentation at LCC and to take another look at previous LCC's. While the titles of some of those presentations are a little "scholarly" the talks themselves were very accessible and entertaining. Talks with titles like those you mentioned were not the majority. I even presented on my fledgling Dritok at LCC2. A talk on a well-known language like Old Albic would be very well received. One of the most enjoyable parts of LCC2 was the presentation of all those who took part in the Relay. David's summary of LCC2 gives a good idea of the flavor of that event. A presentation on Old Albic would fall right into the tradition of several of the talks that were held there including ones on Tenata, Sidaan, and Kelen.
Jashan wrote: Oh oh oh oh I WANT TO RANT TOO!
Jashan wrote: I do understand the ruffled feathers over the LCS saying that it "represents" conlangers. It doesn't. It represents the conlangers which are its members. (Perhaps a bad analogy, but:) Kinda like the Pope doesn't represent Christians. He represents Catholics. Perhaps more specifically, Roman Catholics. I believe the LCS would garner somewhat less (overblown) hostility regarding this if it would make that distinction, especially to 'outsiders.' (Read: non-conlangers.) Every organization, no matter how big or small, by nature has some manner of shared viewpoint, agenda, or goal that non-members might not agree with. Don't pretend you don't; just accept it and share it with outsiders that that's the case.
You bring up a very good point, and I can see where you're coming from. Maybe in saying LCS members themselves "represent" a cross-section of the conlanging community would help to ease some anxiety towards the organization. Just that change in emphasis may help. Thanks for that!